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Before they officially started their summer break, 17 Huron County teachers & counselors participated in ‘Teacher Business Bootcamp’, an immersive professional development opportunity consisting of 6 business tours and a final project that they will use in their classrooms during the next school year.  

Teachers toured the following businesses; Fisher-Titus, New Horizons Baking Company, Norwalk Concrete Industries, Berry Global, Janotta & Herner, and Stanley Black & Decker (formerly MTD Industries). At each business, teachers and counselors heard about the many differing career paths of the people who worked at the company, many of whom started out at an entry level role and got promoted to a leadership position. 

The purpose of the bootcamp is to expose school staff to the rewarding careers available here in Huron County, that often require no experience or further education, but provide many opportunities to learn, be promoted within and advance your career.

Becky Drennen, a Credit Recovery Teacher at Norwalk High School, said the following, “I am especially excited! Now that I have inside knowledge (and contacts) of some of our local companies, I feel like I will be able to better assist my students in finding work after high school. The sky is the limit for them in a manufacturing career, even for a student coming right out of high school.”

The bootcamp immersed school staff into a hands-on experience that will directly contribute to retaining Huron County’s youth in productive local careers. Through this crucial business-to-school experience, current workforce needs are communicated directly to teachers and counselors who can create awareness about the rewarding careers available.  

Many partners came together to help make this program a success. In addition to the businesses generously donating their time, local organizations such as North Point Educational Service Center, Norwalk Economic Development Corporation, and Firelands Forward played critical roles in implementing the Huron County Business Advisory Council (BAC) and the Teacher Business Bootcamp. 

Teachers will receive three graduate level credits from Ashland University for their participation, generously funded by the Ohio Governer’s Office of Workforce Transformation. Below is another quote from one of the teacher participants.  

“This has been a wonderful experience!! I have lived in this area my whole life and didn’t know much about the businesses we visited. I have learned a great deal about job opportunities and the need to prepare students for work, as well as teaching them about the jobs/places out there. Seeing the business leaders’ passion about their people and business was reassuring. It’s great to see the options students have and the chances for growth within a factory/business. There is so much out there, we need to work on getting our students connected to it.” – Tracy Arnold, Willard City Schools 

About Norwalk Economic Development Corporation – Created in 2002 by a dedicated group of concerned private businesspeople and public officials, the Norwalk Economic Development Corporation’s mission is to identify and capitalize on opportunities to continuously improve the Norwalk area’s business base. To learn more about this local economic development organization, visit www.norwalknedc.com.